From The RampartsJunious Ricardo StantonBeware Attempt to Loot Social Security“Defending Social Security sounds like yesterday's issue--the fight people won when they defeated George W. Bush's attempt to privatize the system in 2005. But the financial establishment has pushed it back on the table, claiming that the current crisis requires ‘responsible’ leaders to take action. Will Obama take the bait? Surely not. The new president has been clear and consistent about Social Security, as a candidate and since his election. The program's financing is basically sound, he has explained, and can be assured far into the future by making only modest adjustments.” A New fat Cat Conspiracy to Loot Social Security by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy Barack Obama morphs into a less grotesque version of George W Bu$h beware of the financial oligarches plot to undo the linchpin of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “New Deal” safety net program, Social Security. Under Bill Clinton and a bipartisan Congress the banksters , greedy Wall Street vampires and bribe offering lobbyists were able to successfully repeal another critical piece of New Deal legislation, the Glass-Steagall Act, the law that prevented the type of investment bank, commercial bank, insurance company, collusion, fraud and rip offs that produced the 1929 Stock Market crash. Now the Clinton gang who populate the Obama administration has its eyes on our Social Security money. Just as George W Bu$h tried to destroy Social Security with his fraudulent privatization plan, (imagine the disaster Social Security would be today had Bu$h’s plan succeeded) the Clinton wing that caters to the international bankers are pushing Obama to loot the system even further. I say even further because during the past several decades the US government has been using the money in the Social Security Trust Fund to balance the federal budget and help compensate for the calamitous fiscal policies that benefitted the super rich but bankrupted the nation.The corporatist media is doing the bidding of the elites by ramping up fear and anxiety using scare tactics to claim Social Security is about to go belly up. The media and various elite front “Think Tanks” are sounding a bogus alarm about the need to restructure Social Security due to looming demographic changes and the high costs of the program. The truth is the federal government has been looting the system for decades taking money out of the separate Social Security Trust Fund and leaving “IOUs” worth trillions of dollars in the form of government bonds. It is not the Trust Fund that is in trouble as claimed by the media hacks, it is the fact the US government “borrowed” money and is not in sound enough fiscal condition to pay it back. Worse case sesnario the government could default on its’ obligation to repay the “loans” leaving millions of AmeriKKKans in deep financial distress. “This Social Security trust fund system is one of the few programs set up by the federal government that continues to operate successfully. To take a sample year, in 2002, the SSS received $627 billion in checks, $453.8 billion in taxes, and an additional $49 billion in interest. Instead of red ink, Social Security made almost $102 billion in profit, to add to the trillions it has in surplus from previous years.The impact of Social Security benefits on the lives of citizens and on local economies is incalculable. In 1995 Social Security paid $340 billion in benefits. Forty-two percent of American senior citizens are kept from living in poverty by their Social Security payments. Nearly one in five Americans receives Social Security benefits and ninety-five percent of Americans have the Social Security benefit protection program. The poverty rate of the elderly was 35% as late as 1959. Now it's about 10%, because of Social Security.” can a flat broke entity like the US government pay its debts without borrowing even more money or raising additional taxes? The fiscal insanity of the Reagan, Bu$h, Clinton, and Bu$h administrations has put this country in a deep hole and they have used the money from Social Security Trust Fund to help stop the hemorrhaging. The question is how will Obama handle this situation? Will he do as he has done since his election, say one thing then turn around and do whatever Wall Street and the military industrial complex tell him to do? Or will he get some backbone, man up and look out for ordinary working class folks? The media spin machine is putting fear in the minds of the public by claiming Obama will raise payroll taxes to keep Social Security safe. Time will tell. Obama will have to do something because the current economic crisis is taking a toll on the payroll tax that goes into the Social Security Trust Fund. “The officials who oversee the program forecast Tuesday that the Social Security trust fund will be exhausted by 2037 — four years earlier than estimated last year. The trust fund reflects a $2.4 trillion surplus paid into Social Security over 20 years that Uncle Sam has borrowed, spent and promised to pay back. Trust fund exhaustion represents the point at which only 76% of benefits could be paid out. The main reason for the change in forecast: Demand for benefits has grown while money paid in has fallen because of growing unemployment and new tax breaks in the economic stimulus package passed in February. Since the start of 2008, 5.7 million payroll tax jobs have disappeared. And another 4.3 million jobs are being filled on a part-time basis.” unemployment and a drop in payroll taxes are factors but the real problem, I repeat the real cause is the US government’s pilfering of the Social Security Trust Fund. “US Office of Management and Budget (OMB) data show that while government’s reported deficit averaged about $300 billion a year from 2002 to 2006, the real current deficit was actually more than 50 per cent larger. The government just ‘borrows’ about $160-$200 billion from the Social Security Trust Fund every year--under the table. In 2007, the real deficit was $449 billion according to the OMB. However, the ‘official’ deficit widely reported was only $257 billion, because it's government policy to add the borrowed Social Security Trust Fund surplus ($192 billion in 2007) to revenues before calculating the ‘official’ deficit.” Obama continue the trend of fiscal mismanagement and larceny or will he bring about “change we can believe in”?-30-

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  • NYMetro
    I intended to say that Glass-Steagal was repealed at midnight during the Clinton Administration by Larry Summers and company. Thanks for that clarification.
    • No problem. I knew you knew what was up; the clarification was for any other readers who weren't aware of the role the Clinton administration played in the current economic crash. Stay strong!
  • NYMetro
    Thanks so much for the clear explanation as to what is going on with Social Security. When I heard the recent news about it going "broke" I was taken aback or should I say taken in. This blog is very infomative and reminds me that I should always be aware that the true meaning behind the majority of what passes for news is not always being articulated.

    It will be interesting to see how Obama responds to this one given that the forces that put him into office are looking for their payback. I understand that the recent stimulus checks for $250 to seniors means that there will not be an increase in social security for seniors for the next three or five years. This makes one wonder if Obama and Company will find a way to fix things with Social Security so that it does not appear to be what it actually is.

    By the way, I understand that Glass-Steagall was signed into law at a time, 12 midnight to be exact, when there was no possibility of discussion or protest. Also, Lawrence Summers was the Treasury Secretary at the time and as we know he is currently the top economic advisor to Obama. Interesting to see how this one plays out.
    This domain may be for sale!
    • Glass-Steagal was passed in 1933 after an investigation by the Pecora Commission into the causes of the FYI, FYI, the Glass-Steagal Act was passed in 1933 following an investigation into the causes of the1929 Stock Market crash. Ferdinand Pecora was a tough no nonsense former US Attorney from New York appointed by FDR who uncovered the real deal about the collusion between the fat cat bankers on Wall Street who caused the stock market collapse. As a result Glass-Seagal was passed which broke up investment banks, commercial banks and insurance companies. You had to be one or the other not both or all three. Summers and Phil Graham were the ones who helped repeal Glass-Steagal in 1996 under Bill Clinton which set the stage for today's economic implosion. They along with Alan Greenspan refused to regulate hedge funds which helped initiate the casino type finance that rules Wall Street today. This along with the fraud, Enron style book keeping corruption and bribes are behind the financial crisis which was deliberately caused by the Wall Street banks. Stay strong!
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